Karin Smith

Karin Smith

Assistant Professor, DNP Program Director

    Westlake Hall 105A
    (309) 677-4588


DNP in Leadership from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
MS in Nursing Education from The University of Oklahoma
BSN from The University of Iowa


Dr. Karin Smith joined Bradley University Department of Nursing in January 2017 as an Assistant Professor in the online nursing graduate program. She earned her BSN from the University of Iowa in 2001 and her MS in Nursing Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2011.  Her master’s thesis focused on evidence-based strategies for hospitals to achieve Magnet status.  In 2016, Dr. Smith earned a DNP with an emphasis in leadership from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, IL. Her DNP project, Implementation of the Discharge Hospitality Center to Impact Patient Throughput, is utilized at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center to help mitigate issues related to capacity.

Dr. Smith has clinical experience in critical care nursing, leadership, and performance improvement, including the use of Six Sigma methodology.


Dr. Smith is a wife and proud mother of three boys and three rescue dogs. She enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family.


Dr. Smith teaches the DNP project courses and has been the lead faculty for Leadership in Advanced Nursing Practice (NUR 735), Health Promotion for Populations (NUR 703), Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science (NUR 700), Nursing Administration Practicum II (NUR 633), Nursing Administration Theory II (NUR 632), Nursing Administration Practicum I (NUR 631), Nursing Administration Theory I (NUR 630), Legal Ethical Issues (NUR 510), Leadership in the Health Care Delivery Systems (NUR 505), and Nursing Theories: Analysis & Development (NUR 501).


Smith, K., Grugan, A., Nielsen Ott, M., Borton, R., & Reed, S. (2023). Strategies to promote academic integrity for graduate nursing students in an online learning environment. Distance Learning Journal [accepted manuscript].

Smith, K., Newell, A., Grugan, A., & Borton, R. (2023). Arriving at the diagnoses of microscopic colitis: One patient’s journey. MEDSURG Nursing [accepted manuscript]

De La Rosa, D., Shank, H., Pajarillo, E.J.Y., Douglas, K., & Smith, K. A Synergistic Collaboration To Enhance New Graduate Nursing Students' Success and Program Retention Through An Equity-Structured Onboarding Program, 2023, International Council of Nurses (ICN), 29th ICN Congress: Nurses together: A force for global health, Montreal, Quebec, Canada [poster presentation].

Borton, R., Smith, K., Grugan, A. (2023). Presentation of a type-B aortic dissection in a healthy young female. MEDSURG Nursing, 32(3), 179-183.

Douglas, K., Ferrell, C., Calcote, M.J., Pajarillo, E.J.Y, De La Rosa, D.C., Shank, H., & Smith, K. Leveling Academic Preparedness for Nurses Entering Graduate School through the Implementation of a Graduate School Onboarding Program, 2023, University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing Research & Scholarship Day, Jackson, MS [poster presentation].

Pajarillo, E.J.Y., Douglas, K., De La Rosa, D., Shank, H., & Smith, K. Addressing New Graduate Students’ Professional, Personal, Academic and Technological Inequities Through a Structured and Targeted Onboarding Program, 2023, Eastern Nursing Research Society, 35th Annual Scientific Sessions, Promoting Liberty: Addressing Determinants of Health Through Nursing Science, Philadelphia, PA [poster presentation]

Douglas, K., Pajarillo, E.J.Y., De La Rosa, D., Shank, H., & Smith, K. Building Partnerships Across Universities to Level the Academic Preparedness of Nurses in Pursuit of Graduate Degrees through a Structured Onboarding Program, 2023, Southern Nursing Research Society 37th Annual Conference, Building Partnerships in Population Health through Research, Education, and Practice, Orlando, FL [podium presentation]

Smith, K. Academic Nursing and the IRB: Cultivating a Partnership for Facilitation of DNP Project IRB Reviews, 2023, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Doctoral Education Conference, Faculty Practice Pre-Conference, Coronado, CA. [poster presentation]

De La Rosa, D., Shank, H., Pajarillo, E.J.Y., Douglas, K., & Smith, K. Offering Innovative Onboarding to Diverse Incoming Graduate Nursing Students to Enhance Equitable and Inclusive Academic Preparation, 2023, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Doctoral Education Conference, Coronado, CA. [poster presentation]

Borton, R., Smith, K., & Grugan, A. (2022). Piloting an on-campus skills boot camp for online FNP students. Nurse Educator, doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000001187

Smith, K. Quality Improvement: To IRB, or Not to IRB, That Is the Question, 2021 14th National DNP Conference, Chicago, IL. [podium presentation].

Smith, K. Navigating Collaborative Process Mapping to Improve Quality Care, 2019 12th National DNP Conference, Washington, D.C. [podium presentation].

Smith, K. (2018). Implementation of the discharge hospitality center to reduce emergency room boarding: A quality improvement project. Nursing Economic$, 36(6), 282-290.

Smith, K. Implementation of the Discharge Hospitality Center to Impact Patient Throughput, 2017 10th National DNP Conference, New Orleans, LA. [podium presentation].

Smith, K. Implementation of the Discharge Hospitality Center to Impact Patient Throughput, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, College of Nursing Research Day, Peoria, IL, November 23, 2015 [podium presentation].


  • University: Dr. Smith currently serves as the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects in Research (CUHSR) associate chair, a senator representing the Department of Nursing, and a board member of the Student Scholarship Expo. She has served as a committee member of the associate provost search committee.
  • College: Dr. Smith currently serves on the Graduate Studies Council. She served on the Election Committee for one term.
  • Department: Dr. Smith currently serves on Program Evaluation, the Department Search Committee, and the Graduate Curriculum Committee.  She has chaired the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee and the Search Committee for two terms. She has served on the High Impact Practices committee and several ad-hoc committees for curricular improvements.  Additionally, Dr. Smith serves as a mentor for new tenure-track graduate faculty.
  • External: Dr. Smith is a reviewer for the Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice and Critical Care Nurse. Dr. Smith has served on the American Organization of Nurse Leadership (AONL) Membership Committee, the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders (IONL) Membership Engagement Committee, and the Governance Committee for the Sigma Theta Tau International Epsilon Epsilon Chapter.  Dr. Smith has been a reviewer for Jones & Bartlett Learning nursing textbooks and for the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control Excellence in Nursing Practice and Excellence in Nursing Leadership awards.

Licensures and Certifications

  • Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certified (NEA-BC)
  • Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
  • Critical Care Registered Nurse Knowledge Professional (CCRN-K)